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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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It’s just not cricket, says Jimmy

Well-known accordionist Jimmy McGuinness, from Timaru, was robbed while playing music on Queen St. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

By Hayley Gastmeier
[email protected]
If 70-year-old street musician Jimmy McGuinness had been being wearing his running shoes, he just might have caught the thief who nicked his earnings.
Chaos broke out on Queen St Masterton on Saturday where Mr McGuiness had been playing his accordion outside Farmers.
“A teenager with a hoodie pulled over his head walked over and bent down,” Mr McGuinness said.
“I thought he was putting some coins in, but he folded the hat and took off like greased lightning.”
Mr McGuinness, a street entertainer from Timaru, is a nationally recognised accordionist and a familiar face in Wairarapa, visiting the region to play music at pubs and events several times a year.
He said there were many witnesses to the incident, with one couple stepping in to guard his accordion while he chased the thief.
“I ran after him and I kept shouting ‘Stop that fella, stop that fella’.
“He ran past the Irish pub and across the zebra crossing to the Town Hall.
“I had a new pair of shoes on, they weren’t for running, and then I ran out of breath.”
Mr McGuinness then called the police.
Soon after that a “young lady on a bike” handed him a plastic bag containing his hat and silver coins.
“She must have known him [the thief]. She said he got tired from running. Most of the $2 coins were gone, all but three.”
About $40 was missing.
“Then she just pedalled off back into the crowd.”
Mr McGuinness said he loved visiting Wairarapa and the weekend’s nasty event had not changed his stance on the region.
“I would like to thank all the people from Masterton for their support.
“The lady from [Ten O’Clock Cookie] she came out and gave me a coffee and buns, and people came along saying sorry about your trouble and they were trying to give me dollar notes.
“I think it brought a tear to their eyes more than it brought tears to my eyes to be honest.
“It was really emotional. But it caused great excitement.”

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